If you’re thinking about updating your home this fall, here’s some inspiration from Australia, Mexico, Italy, and the U.S. Whether you’re looking for a major change or to simply add to your furniture collection, these designers, with a focus on creativity, high-quality materials, and uncompromising standards, all bring something special to any home project.
Kitchens: Balanced Design
Between them, designers Bob Bakes and Paul Kropp have more than three decades of experience in creating dream kitchens, which they bring together as Bakes & Kropp, known and loved for “defining fine cabinetry across the United States.” Big on details, Bakes says, “It is important to thoughtfully balance all the elements in a design. Every element should ‘have a friend to talk to,’ meaning each accent or texture is reflected in some way throughout the kitchen and doesn’t stand out on its own. Subtle balance, texture, and symmetry are important elements that influence my designs.
Bakes & Kropp has recently added a new showroom to its portfolio—which includes New York City, The Hamptons, Long Island, and Michigan. The West Palm Beach, Florida, showroom opens this fall and will showcase the company’s offering, from custom cabinetry to wine cellars and even libraries. “This will be a true flagship location steeped in Palm Beach glamour, but tempered by essences of Bakes & Kropp intimacy,” says Kropp.
Bathrooms: On the Level
Australia’s Omvivo has been designing bathroom spaces for more than three decades, and as its latest sink—the Washplane—demonstrates, the brand has kept step with washroom trends. A minimalist’s dream, the floating sink has cleverly concealed plumbing (installed into a wall cavity) and, thanks to its seamless benchtop and “slump,” no areas for dirt and harmful bacteria to be trapped. The Washplane’s designers hope that it “encourages us to interact thoughtfully with the water, creating a unique, therapeutic experience.”
Furniture: Organic Forms
Tim Neve graduated in costume and set design before becoming an interior designer, so he knows how to create drama. Having designed pillows, throws, and bedding, the Australian has released Début, his first collection of furniture.
“Not driven by trends and inspired by the organic forms found in nature—from the fluid contours to the slight imperfections,” Neve’s seating, tables, and sideboards are made using natural materials such as rattan and teak, handcrafted by artisans. “Each is designed to work as a statement piece, or to be even stronger when placed together,” says Neve. “I can’t wait to see how people style them into their homes.”
Flooring: Tale to Tile
If you like homewares with a backstory, take a look at Clé Tile’s new Cinema collection. Founder Deborah Osburn created seven narratives to showcase her suggested color groupings that form 47 sets of tile duos and trios. Among the stories are Wildwood, “forest folklore . . . dusky earthtones,” and Flanders, “filtered grays, blues, and high-gloss tones, of water-reflected light.” You can, of course, create your own story using the palette of 70 colors, including 34 new hues.
Furniture: Jewel of the Dunes
For his Duna collection, Mexican designer Joel Escalona took inspiration from sandy landscapes and the ripples of dunes—Escalona’s designs often have stories behind them and he believes in ideas that “engage meaningfully and push the limits of contemporary design.”
The range, created for Escalona’s furniture brand Nono, includes a sideboard, a bench, a coffee table, and a smaller nest of tables, each of which is topped with a wooden surface that has been crafted and polished to resemble the “effect of the wind”—something that pairs well with the grain of the wood.
Sculpture: Prickly Characters
Designers Guido Drocco and Franco Mello were way ahead of the curve when, in 1972, they “brought the outside in” in the form of the huge, soft, and thornless Cactus for Italian company Gufram. Celebrating its half centenary, each four-armed hall tree, in flexible polyurethane, is still produced in the original 1972 mold and finished by hand, meaning each piece is unique.
Green, white, red, and multicolored, there have, over the years, been many different editions of the piece, some of which have sold out in just a few days. Gufram recently announced a collaboration with The Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts—limited-edition plants in vibrant pink, yellow, and blue.
Banner: A kitchen created by Bakes & Kropp. Credit: Brandon C. Tobin